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Until June 5 - Online questionnaire to inspire design of OPL-LAC joint facility

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14/05/2019

Until June 5, please share your thoughts and comments – online – about major program spaces in the new OPL-LAC joint facility with the architects who are designing the innovative civic and national institution. Canadians coast to coast can engage by answering a brief and focused questionnaire regarding Spaces and Relations now available at Inspire555.ca.

 

Comments

Hello,
I love the OPL but cannot spend more than 5 minutes at a time in any of the branches.
Why ? the antimicrobial carpets ? the plywood subfloors? The ventilation system that
fails to keep up with the inevitable mould that a thousand books generate ?

PLEASE consider having at least 2 of the group meeeting spaces be safe spaces for the 15% of the
population that is sensitive to chemicals, VOCs, and/or mould. It is relatively simple to do:
1. Stone or very hard tile floors (not cork or linoleum) or "safe" wood with a no-VOC finish.
2. Hard chairs. That means no upholstery because commercial (and residential) foam and upholstery fabrics all come
coated with flame retardants and stain guard products and
3. Adequate ventilation with air filters.

A small window that opens would be ideal.

I cannot volunteer for the ESL groups, cannot attend my condo meetings, cannot attend interesting talks and seminars the library offers and cannot attend the monthly book club discussions at Greenboro, or anywhere else because there is -- that I know of -- no space in the OPL system with these characteristics.

Renovating one or two rooms to these standards in existing branches (such as Greenboro) would raise my quality of life and the OPL's accessibility quotient. Accessibility is NOT just about low sinks, wide doors and elevators. Discrimination against a group of people with an invisible disability (including those with asthma) is still discrimination.

Planning to have true accessibility in the new branch is an opportunity to not repeat the mistakes made in the existing branches. I hope you will rise to this challenge and thank you for considering the plight of those of us facing invisible barriers.

I am a Librarian who has worked at both Library and Archives Canada and Ottawa Public Library. I hope that the new OPL-LAC joint facility is truly an architectural gem that not only serves the needs of the clients of OPL and LAC, but is attractive enough to be a magnet for tourists visiting the city.

I would like to see open, welcoming spaces, comfortable seating, study rooms where groups of clients can meet and work, a cafeteria with good food, an auditorium, exhibition spaces and art work hung on the walls – perhaps some art from the LAC collection? There should be plenty of space for the OPL collection – including print books, which are still popular – despite all predictions to the contrary! There should be plenty of windows and natural light. Seating and staff areas should be by the windows and the collection should be in the middle of the building, away from the windows. The ceilings should be high. Furniture, fixtures and finishes should be of high quality. Accessibility for all should be a priority. The outside of the facility should be attractively landscaped, with plenty of places for people to sit. In other words, the new library should be a destination in itself!

You have probably heard this view a lot, but I can’t stress this enough. Think of the British Library in London, or Halifax or Calgary Public Libraries or the BNQ in Montreal. These are all showcase libraries that have made a difference in the respective cities. The new Ottawa Library needs to do the same.